Archive for Monday, December 13, 2010

In Lawrence classrooms, certain student names ring familiar

At Langston Hughes school at least four students share the same name but spelled four different ways. Meet Bradyn, Braedyn, Brayden and Braiden.

December 13, 2010


Four students at Langston Hughes School share the same, currently popular first name. Gathered in the school’s library Thursday from left are Bradyn Kern, kindergarten, Braiden Bangalan, second-grade, Brayden Ballew, first grade, and Braedyn Clover, kindergarten.

Four students at Langston Hughes School share the same, currently popular first name. Gathered in the school’s library Thursday from left are Bradyn Kern, kindergarten, Braiden Bangalan, second-grade, Brayden Ballew, first grade, and Braedyn Clover, kindergarten.

Most popular names in the district

These are the 11 most popular names among all students registered with the Lawrence school district. Spelling counted, so different spellings of Aaron (Aaryn) or Abigail (Abigaill), just for example, are counted separately.

  1. Jacob (105 students)
  2. Emily (84 students)
  3. Matthew (83 students)
  4. Joshua (72 students)
  5. Joseph (70 students)
  6. Andrew (68 students)
  7. Michael (66 students)
  8. Nicholas (63 students

9-tie. Christopher (62 students)

9-tie. Emma (62 students)

9-tie. Taylor (62 students)

See all of the names shared by 10 or more students in the district.

See even more popular names (by school):

Broken Arrow

Central Junior High School



Free State High School



Langston Hughes

Lawrence High School

Lawrence Virtual School (high school)

Lawrence Virtual School (elementary and junior high)

New York


Prairie Park

Quail Run


South Junior High School

Southwest Junior High School


Sunset Hill

Wakarusa Valley

West Junior High School


Braedyn Clover isn’t afraid to lose his identity.

Even at age 6.

“I wish everybody was Braedyn,” the kindergartner proclaimed the other day, perusing books in the library at Langston Hughes School. “I like it.”

He’s not alone. Not even close.

Braedyn is one of four Langston Hughes students who share the first name, despite each signing his papers with a different spelling: Bradyn Kern, in kindergarten; Brayden Ballew, in first grade; and Braiden Bangalan, in second grade.

Together, the four account for one-fifth of the 20 Bradens, Bradyns, Braedens, Braedyns, Braidens and Braydens enrolled in the Lawrence school district.

Brayden Ballew, for his part, figures more such monikers will be on the way — another “2,000” in the years ahead, he says, to continue a legacy that’s still growing.

Perhaps he’s onto something. Brayden ranks No. 4 on the Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s most recent listing of Most Popular Baby Names for boys, with the 219 newborns receiving the name in 2009 trailing only Aiden (341), Jackson (293) and Caden (249).

The top four for girls: Addison (221), Emma (214), Isabella (213) and Chloe (204).

“This is the first time I’ve ever had a Braedyn,” said Chris Heider, who teaches afternoon kindergarten and remains thankful, for efficiency’s sake, that her other one, Bradyn, prefers to go by Brady. “I’ve also never had a Macade until this year. Or a Larson. Or an Easton — that’s a new one for me. …”

This list goes on — Kady, Contessa, Colton … — as Heider reflects on her 28 years in the classroom, a teacher calling an increasingly unfamiliar roll each August.

“We certainly don’t see the same names we used to,” she said.

Then she smiles as she looks out over her latest class, the youngsters dutifully “hugging” their books as they line up to leave the library. Interested. Quiet. Ready to learn.

At least that much hasn’t changed.


amesn 7 years, 4 months ago

When I named my only son Braden I really thought I was giving him something unique...shoot!

notanota 7 years, 4 months ago

Well, if it wasn't unique, at least it wasn't "ewe-neeke."

mommie2boogie 7 years, 4 months ago

Im glad to see more people spelling it the traditional way! My sons name is Braden, and I too thought I was naming him something unique back in 2007 LOL

Nikki May 7 years, 4 months ago

Both my kids are the only ones in there grades with their names.

Amesn, I like the traditional Braden the best. :)

Tim Quest 7 years, 4 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Bobbi Walls 7 years, 4 months ago

My 6th grader is the only one in the district with her name, and then there's my Kindergartner and there are 4 with her name.

Alice Brewer 7 years, 4 months ago

My 7th grader is the only one with her name as well. I like that.

labmonkey 7 years, 4 months ago

But cmon.... I thought the new fad was to replace all the vowels in a kid's name with y's. That'll make them really unique, and teachers love it when they have five kids with the same name but five different spellings.

labmonkey 7 years, 4 months ago

Didn't George Carlin have a whole routine about giving kids last names for first names?

Fugu 7 years, 4 months ago

Yes sir. Youtube George Carlin + Goofy Boy Names. Tooooooodd.

overthemoon 7 years, 4 months ago

Odd spellings will be a pain not just for teachers, but for the child his or her whole life. Parents really ought to think about that before going Sam spelled Psamm.

booyalab 7 years, 4 months ago

To me, the whole unique spelling thing reeks of low class. I don't like stereotyping, but this generalization is true. It embodies every flaw that characterizes that group of people: trying to be "fancy" or cool without any concern for classical aesthetics or long term, practical considerations.

ivalueamerica 7 years, 4 months ago

I think what you meant to say is that you do not like being stereotyped, but do not mind doing it to others.

overthemoon 7 years, 4 months ago

I don't know about 'low class', but I agree on the appearance of pretension while passing on practicality and aesthetics. Names often indicate parents trying to be clever or 'unique' rather than giving their children names that will suit cute little kids as well as being suitable for the grown-up the child will spend far many more years being.

I think there is something here about the lack of family tradition and cultural relevance in our society...

kernal 7 years, 4 months ago

Over the years, I've found it's because the parents didn't know the correct spelling for the name so they winged it. Now days, everyone makes up words and names on a whim. Don't choose your child's name when your high, because your child will have to live with it and may hate you for it. Believe me!

Kids, if your parents burdened you with a ridiculous or derogatory name you hate, you can petition the District Court to have it legally changed when you turn 18, maybe sooner if it's something really derogatory.

booyalab 7 years, 4 months ago

“We certainly don’t see the same names we used to,”

She's quite tactful, I have to give her that. I wonder what the country club set is going to name their kids, now that the middle class has taken all their smug, soap opera-esque favorites away from them.

mom_of_three 7 years, 4 months ago

Autie, Just because you are named after a family member does not mean your name will be common or easy to spell. believe me.

staff04 7 years, 4 months ago

When I was a lad there 7 choices for boys names and 9 for girls. Naming a child was a simple affair. When you popped out of the womb and were taken to your old dad, he’d take a deep puff on his cigar, give you a good stare and say “Looks like a Dick to me.”

And, bingo, you had your name. It may not have been “original” but if nothing else you knew that there would be 10 other Dicks just like you on your street.

But today, my God! Everyone names their nasty sprogs after perfumes and automobiles and months of the year. The parks are overflowing with snot-faced urchins running around with droopy diapers and million dollar handles like “December”, “Chanel”, “Mercedes” or worse.

Now it could just be me but it strikes me as cruel to name a kid “Mercedes” when they’re obviously destined for a “Pinto” life. Do the kid a favour and name it “Bus Pass.” At least that way when it gets older it won’t feel badly for not having lived up to the god damned hype of its name. But what the Hell, I suppose it’s better than “Escort.”

And Chanel? Why not just buy the lass a stripper pole now? She’s likely going to end up on one anyway with a name like that.

overthemoon 7 years, 4 months ago

That's pretty crabby. And pretty darn funny!

I fear ever coming across a Judge named Tiffany, or worse Typhani (with a i instead of a y, with a little heart instead of a dot)

mom_of_three 7 years, 4 months ago

Mercedes is a name of Spanish descent and for the most part has nothing to do with the car.

Geez, you people are snobs.

staff04 7 years, 4 months ago

The fact that you did the research before naming your kid 'Mercedes' makes you the exception. It does not make anyone else a snob.

mom_of_three 7 years, 4 months ago

I don't have a kid named mercedes, but have know a few in the past. But yes, for him to think it was after a car is kind of snobby.

overthemoon 7 years, 4 months ago

You're right on that name...but if you come across a kid named Hummer it would be hard to place it in a cultural context of any depth!

booyalab 7 years, 4 months ago

You can't separate common associations from words. Language is for everybody.

ksarmychick 7 years, 4 months ago

my sister tried to name her kid I offered to buy the kid a thong diaper and a stripper pole....she got the hint pretty quick.

kernal 7 years, 4 months ago

Thanks, labmonkey. I'm sure many pedophiles will enjoy that one.

Hop2It 7 years, 4 months ago

Please, please do not make up names for your children. If you do... please don't be offended when we misspell or mispronounce them.

amesn 7 years, 4 months ago

A friend of mine named her baby Alyxys. To each his own when it comes to what u name your kid but like many have previously said...don't make it harder on the kid with weird spellings or he/she always having to correct someone pronouncing their name! I thought I did pretty good with my kids but apparantly not...of course since I used the traditional 'Braden' spelling, he is fine, but my 2 girls have to correct people all the time! Brenna and Ryann. Prounounced Bren-na and Ry-Ann. My mom says I should have made the A in Ryann's name capitol so people wouldn't constantly call her Ryan. Which 'Rian' is what I wanted to name her but her dad said it was too butch!

independant1 7 years, 4 months ago

This discussion reminds me of Frank Zappa's children names - Dweezel and Moonunit

Nikki May 7 years, 4 months ago

and Ahmet, who wanted to change his name allegedly as a kid.

sissezz 7 years, 4 months ago

Both my kids have traditional names.... the great thing here is that because everyone else is being "trendy" my kids name are truely unique!!

Ryan Wood 7 years, 4 months ago

Names evolve through the generations. There's no "good ol days" about it.

If names didn't evolve, then the most popular girls names would still be Dorothy, Ethel and Blanche.

Just because everyone in the world isn't Tom, Dick, Bob and Michael doesn't mean their parents are weirdos. Get a grip.

booyalab 7 years, 4 months ago

And if names don't evolve in the future, then every boy will be named Jaebraiydalayden and every girl will sound like a stripper or a scented candle.

mom_of_three 7 years, 4 months ago

I picked kids' names I liked and heard growing up, knowing very few, if any, people with those names. However, those names turned out to be pretty common in the years when my kids were born.
and my step brother had a daughter named Mercedes, which was a family name on the mother's side of the family. Had nothing to do with the freaking car. Just because you may not be familiar with it doesn't make it unusual or unique.

BigPrune 7 years, 4 months ago

Exactly Howmuchrice. These kids need to be treated with pity. Just don't name your kids Ciera or Fiero - those cars were discontinued years ago plus Oldsmobile and Pontiac no longer exist.

PalinPalms 7 years, 4 months ago

I'm thinking Differentialequation for my next, maybe Differentialequationisha if it's a girl

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